Thursday, April 15, 2010

Planets: Pluto

I've finished stitching the last of the "Planets" series- Pluto is marked with an asterisk, since its status as a planet depends on whether you're talking about popular conceptions or science.  I didn't like to leave it out, though; it was a planet when I learned about the planets from Interplanet Janet, and I'm a little attached to it.  Besides, Jonathan Coulton's "I'm Your Moon" is the best love song ever.

Before I start finishing the coasters, I'll upload the charts for Pluto here, in case anyone else wants to use them for anything.  


  1. I love Jonathan Coulton's song and want to emphasize that many scientists do still consider Pluto a planet. Only four percent of the IAU voted on this, and most are not planetary scientists. Their decision was immediately opposed in a formal petition by hundreds of professional astronomers led by Dr. Alan Stern, Principal Investigator of NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto. Stern and like-minded scientists favor a broader planet definition that includes any non-self-luminous spheroidal body in orbit around a star. The spherical part is important because objects become spherical when they attain a state known as hydrostatic equilibrium, meaning they are large enough for their own gravity to pull them into a round shape. This is a characteristic of planets and not of shapeless asteroids and Kuiper Belt Objects. Pluto meets this criterion and is therefore a planet. Under this definition, our solar system has 13 planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Ceres, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, Haumea, Makemake, and Eris.

  2. Thanks for the comment- I'm glad to know that Pluto still has a place among the Nine.

  3. Oh- but this means I need to make four more coasters, I suppose. :)